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TeenWorks program connecting young people with jobs

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 00:58:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 200 young people in the Indianapolis area will have a job this summer, thanks to a program called TeenWorks.

The goal is to help set participants up for success in life and help remove any barriers that could be preventing them from getting a job.

“Over the summer instead of just hanging out with my friends I wanted to better myself for the future," Sydney Harriel, a student at Pike High School said. She is one of about 230 young people taking part in the summer work program through TeenWorks. This is Harriel’s second year in the program.

“They help me with my resume, they helped me with how to be a professional, they helped me with my interview,” Harriel said.

“We will have young people this summer working at places where they will be doing urban gardening, running food stands, doing work at Gleaners Food Bank, we will have young people doing construction work. We will have really any level of job,” Nick Duvall, President and CEO of TeenWorks said.

“Our primary focus is the under served and underrepresented population of Indiana. We hope to allow them to gain those skills those soft job skills that are going to be necessary for them that they traditionally don't have the opportunity to find for themselves,” Duvall added.

Harriel said the program also helped eliminate barriers she and others would have faced if they tried to get a summer job on their own.

“Transportation definitely and also just a lunch. It’s really nice to go to a place without having to pay for lunch,” Harriel said.

“We pick them up in their neighborhood if transportation is an issue, we feed them, we prepare them for their next job they are going to get on their own, we also pair them with a mentor,” Duvall said.

Those things could help put young people on the right path, especially as Indianapolis faces issues with youth violence and crime.

“Having somebody that is another caring adult in their life making sure that they have the resources that they need to succeed can be the difference between having that successful path and having unfortunately those things that don't allow them to be a successful individual,” Duvall added.

Participants have professional development days once a week. Applications are closed for the 2021 summer season, but this is an annual program that will run around this time next year, too. You can learn more about TeenWorks by clicking here.